ALERT: ANOTHER SNEAK ATTACK ON ORGANIC STANDARDS: USDA TO ALLOW MORE CONVENTIONAL INGREDIENTS IN ORGANICS

USDA & INDUSTRY TRY TO SNEAK BANNED CONVENTIONAL INGREDIENTS INTO ORGANIC BEER, SAUSAGE, & PROCESSED FOODS

Send a Letter to USDA Now

The USDA has announced a controversial proposal, with absolutely no input from consumers, to allow 38 new non-organic ingredients in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. Most of the ingredients are food colorings derived from plants that are supposedly not "commercially available" in organic form. But several of the proposed ingredients, backed by beer giant Anheuser-Busch, and pork and food processors, represent a serious threat to organic standards, and have raised the concerns of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).

ALERT UPDATE (6/23/2007): Despite receiving more than ten thousand comments from consumers and family farmers opposing various aspects of a late May 2007 proposal, the USDA has approved an interim rule that will allow 38 new non-organic ingredients to be allowed in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal.

The USDA's passage of this proposal has resulted in the following:

-Anheuser Busch will be allowed to sell its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" without using any organic hops at all.

-Sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" are now allowed to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.

-Products labeled as "USDA Organic" and containing fish oil may contain toxins such as PCBs and mercury (note: nonorganic fishoil products have this same risk, but despite the USDA ruling, it is against the National Organic Standards to allow such toxins in organic foods).

YOUR HELP IS STILL NEEDEDThe USDA has responded to OCA's demands to repoen re-open the public comment period on this issue. Industry was given two years, and the public was initially only given 7 days. But the USDA has agreed to accept public comments for 60 additional days while giving interim approval to the proposal. It's important that consumers, farmers and organic producers use this period to share their opinions. .